Best period: mid June – mid September
Day 1 – Sofia
Arrival to Sofia.Transfer from the airport and accommodation in Hotel Renaissance 3* (or similar centrally located hotel in Sofia). Overnight in Sofia.
Day 2 – Rila monastery – Panichishte resort
After breakfast – departure to Rila monastery. Founded in X-th c., it was the biggest Bulgarian medieval spiritual centre. The monastery has rich collection of icons, wall-paintings, old-printed books – about 15 000 volumes. Guided tour around the monastery. It is in the UNESCO list of world heritage.
In the afternoon we will reach Panichishte resort, located on the foot of Rila Mountain. Trekking up to “Rila Lakes” hut with a mountain guide. Accommodation and overnight in rooms with private facilities in the hut.
Day 3 – The Seven Rila Lakes
Full day to explore The Seven Rila Lakes with a mountain guide – a breathtaking, magnificent view in Bulgarian Rila Mountains. They are a group of lakes of glacial origin, situated in the northwestern Rila Mountains in Bulgaria. They are the most visited group of lakes in Bulgaria. The lakes are situated between 2,100 and 2,500 metres elevation above sea level.
Each lake carries a name associated with its most characteristic feature. The highest one is called Salzata (“The Tear”) due to its clear waters that allow visibility in depth. The next one in height carries the name Okoto (“The Eye”) after its almost perfectly oval form. Okoto is the deepest circus lake in Bulgaria, with a depth of 37.5 m. Babreka (“The Kidney”) is the lake with the steepest shores from the whole group. Bliznaka (“The Twin”) is the largest one by area. Trilistnika (“The Trefoil”) has an irregular shape and low shores. The shallowest lake is Ribnoto Ezero (“The Fish Lake”) and the lowest one is Dolnoto Ezero (“The Lower Lake”), where the waters that flow out of the other lakes are gathered to form the Dzherman River.
Overnight in the hut.
Day 4 – Plovdiv – Wine tasting
Trekking down to Panichishte resort where you will meet again your mini bus and tour guide. Departure to Plovdiv, the city of the seven hills. Visit to the Old Plovdiv, built in IV century B.C. from King Philip of Macedonia, with the Ethnographical museum, the oldest church “St. Constantine and Elena”, the Antique Theatre and the Roman Stadium. Accommodation and overnight in Hotel Expo 3* (or similar)
Optional: Wine tasting in “Todoroff” boutique wine-cellar, located not far from Plovdiv. This cellar produces small consignments of high quality wine made from the typical Bulgarian grape sort “Mavrud”. There is a small SPA hotel next to the cellar, which offers various wine body therapies.
Day 5 – Sofia city tour
After breakfast – departure for Sofia. The Bulgarian capital is a 8500 years old city called “My Rome” by the Emperor Constantine the Great. Visit to the most interesting historical sights: the Boyana Church – one of the few complete and perfectly preserved mediaeval monuments testifying to the significant contribution of Bulgarian monumental painting to European culture in the Middle Ages. The church is located in the foot of Vitosha mountan and is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Back to the city center where we will see the Ancient Serdica, the rotunda church St. George (dated IV century AC), the mineral springs, the antique Roman theatre dated III-IV-th century (the time of the Emperor Constantine the Great) and the St. Nedelya sqare, where 4 temples from different religions are located next to each other: The Catholic church, The Ortodox church, The Synagogue and The Mosque are forming quadrangle, which symbolize the peace between religions in Bulgaria. Next is the Alexander I square where the Royal Palace and the National Theatre are located, “Tzar Osvoboditel” boulevard, the Parliament, the Church of “St. Sofia” (the name means wisdom), which had given the name of the city, the Sofia University and the “Alexander Nevski” cathedral (the biggest Orthodox temple on the Balkan peninsula).
Optional: Dinner in a typical Bulgarian folklore restaurant with entertainment program.
Day 6 – Flight back home
After breakfast – free time. Transfer to the airport and flight back home.